Heat Taking Toll on Columbia Roads

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COLUMBIA - Thursday's high temperatures didn't reach the brutal level of the last week, but that heat has already taken a toll on Columbia streets.  The city said it has experienced an unusually large number of sidewalks and streets buckling this summer.  To prepare for the next heat wave, city maintenance workers are working extended hours.  They now start work at 7 a.m.  Crews are also still trying to repair potholes from the winter.

The Columbia Public Works information officer said the problem is more with new sidewalks and streets instead of the older ones.  Jill Stedem said the city has had particular problems with sidewalks off of north Providence Road. 

MoDOT Regional Maintenance Supervisor Dwane Vandelicht said state roads have not been affected.  He said this is because state roads contain asphalt, while city roads are mostly concrete.  Vandelicht said moisture from rain and extreme heat causes concrete to expand and buckle.  MoDOT did have a few "blow-ups" during the last heat wave, but they have all been temporarily repaired. 

Both MoDOT and the city of Columbia both said they deal with street problems every summer, but due to erratic weather, this summer has been especially bad.